The Portland Pirate Festival is dropping anchor on Labor Day Weekend, just 30 minutes outside of the Rose City, in the river village of St. Helens, Ore. It’s a great time to don a scarf, earring and eyepatch; dance, watch swordplay, feast and enjoy a mug of grog. The two-day event launches Saturday, Sept. 3, from 10 a.m. – midnight; and sets sail after a full day on Sunday, Sept. 4, from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
The family-friendly event is all about fun and learning through historical reenactments, music, dance and interactive theatre. Event organizers say that the new location has allowed them to lower ticket prices and extend festival hours. A one-day adult pass (13 and older) is $10 in advance or $12 at the gate. One-day youth passes (12 and younger) are $5 in advance, or $6 at the gate. Two-day passes in advance are $18 for adults, $8 for youth. Advance tickets can be purchased here.
The festival’s move to St. Helens brings a smaller-town feel to the festival, which is now in its sixth year. St. Helens offers a gorgeous spot on the Columbia River, and expanded boat moorage for the festival at the city’s docks and on Sand Island.
Features at this year’s gathering inculde the Mermaid Lagoon; wild costume parades lead by The Last Regiment Drummers and theOregon Defense Force Pipe Band; the comedy of Cap’n Chris the Hypnotist; Curtis Carlyle Seriously Funny Juggling; and the whip-cracking Lefty Caress.
Kids will enjoy the giant, strolling puppets of Seattle’s Zambini Brothers; Let’s Pretend’s children’s theater; Dragon Theater Puppet Shows; swordplay with Academia Duellatoria; scavenger hunts and interactive games with The Pirates of Puget Sound; cannon shows on Thunder Ridge; giant, inflatable rides; and free balloons and face painting by beautiful mermaids.
PDXYAR’s Pirates of the Cursed Sea will be unveiling its land ship, EL Tiburon. This full-sized replica of a pirate ship is a 48-foot scale model of a yacht-style ship. The ship is incorporated into PDXYAR’s performances, which include stage combat (swordplay, fisticuffs and fire swords), black powder demonstrations (flintlock pistols, blunderbusses and cannons), and singing sea shanties.
Music is going to play a huge role at the festival. Performers from afar include:
- Pirates Charles(pirate rock from Southern California)
- Baby Gramps
- Mister Mac (aka Aloysius MacKnucklepeck)
- Man Overboard
Local performers include:
- BilgeRats & Pyrettes
- Chata Addy & Susuma
- Sam Bam Boo
- Fire & Steel,
- Shakesprov Comedy Theater,
- Dance troupes Belissimonde, Gypsy Heart, Bridgetown Pirate Morris Dancers, Deviant Dance with Negara, The Tiger Lillies and Desert Mirage (from St. Helens).
The full entertainment schedule is here.
For more information, schedule updates, and to purchase tickets online, visit www.portlandpiratefestival.com.
No dogs allowed.